I'll admit that I used to hate rewrites. Somewhere along the line, I began to embrace them. Now I look forward to it. There's something liberating about giving up the idea of perfection in the first draft. Most important, it makes it possible to finish the first draft. Nothing brought on writing paralysis like having to go back and change prior chapters and the pressure to get it right the first time.
One of the great joys of the second draft is seeing the subconscious themes that developed the first time around. I can weigh their importance and either edit them out or enforce them. Usually I strengthen them, because they're interesting. Those hidden themes bring out depth in the characters and sometimes reveal their secrets.
Another good thing about the second draft is the ability to fix pacing and the sequence of events. The idea is to keep building the conflict until it reaches a breaking point somewhere in the last third of the story. Once all hell breaks loose, the last third (or less than that) of the story is putting the pieces back together again but in such a way that the picture changes. Why show this great life-altering event if it has no effect on the characters? How things resolve defines the novel. Things change for the better, or the worse, or my preference - for the better but with a bittersweet feeling. Nothing is ever gained without something being lost.
So I'm deep in the rewrite of Love Runes and working on perfection this time around. As usual, I'm sloughing off a lot of the extraneous stuff and focusing on the main relationship. I have all these other characters, and the temptation is to drag them in to be catalysts in every major event, but it's more interesting, and truer, to have the change come from conflicts within the relationship, not outside it. So I'm deleting a few scenes and adding few, and moving some stuff around, but it isn't the same process as writing the first draft.
After this, nothing changes. Everything get polished, but the story is set. The only things I may add after this will be to better describe the setting. That's my weakest point, but at least I know that I need to anchor the characters in a physical place rather than letting them be talking heads.